Liver disease can envelope various diseases of the liver.
Types and some causes of liver disease:
What is the function of the liver?
It has so many amazing functions:
Who gets it?
Any cat or dog can be affected by liver disease.
Can it be prevented?
Not all can be prevented, but you can prevent infectious hepatitis and leptospirosis with vaccinations.
Diagnosis is based on blood test results. A variety of changes may be noticed that may help distinguish what kind of liver disease is present.
Most obvious suggestion of liver disease is an elevation in liver enzymes (ALT/ALKP or GGT)
Bilirubin may be elevated.
Bile acids may be elevated and a ‘bile acid stimulation test’ may be necessary to establish the function of the liver.
There may be some changes to red and white blood cells.
Often imaging the liver with x-ray or ultrasound can be really helpful, for example it can identify a liver tumour or bile duct obstruction. However, for a definitive diagnosis sometimes a biopsy of the liver is necessary. This can sometimes be done via a needle through the abdominal wall, other times a biopsy through keyhole surgery is more appropriate.
Your pet may need a specially formulated diet to support the liver function and reduce any burden on the liver. These include Royal Canin hepatic, Hill’s l/d, Purina HP Hepatic
Prognosis depends on the underlying cause.
For mild or moderate liver disease the damage to the organ may be reversible, the liver can regenerate very well and can recover from some insults.
However, chronic and severe liver disease has a poorer prognosis and sometimes some animals may have to be euthanised.